Friday, January 21, 2011

Diary Entry 8: Saigon, Sunday Night, 13 June 1965

                                                                Sunday Night, 13 June 1965

            I am still at work and we have a flap going.  The VC started a big attack at Dong Xoai again last night and US forces have been up against it all today.  My airlift section at Tan Son Nhut airport has been busy all day kicking off cargo loads so that troop carrier aircraft can be used to move combat elements to the fighting.  Looks like they may send the 173rd Airborne Brigade up to the fighting and I’m trying to scrounge up planes everywhere.  Because of the flap, I didn’t get to attend the rest of the briefings today, but I’ll get someone to fill me in.
[Major] Harry Brockman came in from the field last night and we had dinner together at the Rex BOQ and renewed old acquaintances.  Harry’s now in Special Forces; wears a beret, jumps out of planes and all that stuff.  He’s quite pleased with his job, but I wouldn’t care very much for it.  Haven’t seen Grady since the first day I got in, but we’ve both been mighty busy.

Major Harry Brockman, U.S. Army.  (Photo courtesy U.S. Army)


This job is the biggest I’ve ever had in TC [the Army Transportation Corps].  If people in the field don’t get their beans, bullets, and beer it’s my fault for not providing the transport, and only way I can get it in is by ship to seaport or by airlift or paradrop inland.  When you’re planning for a force as big as the Vietnamese Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines plus all the US, Korean, Chinese [Taiwanese], Australians, Thailand, New Zealand, Central Intelligence Agency, US Operations Mission, US Information Service, and the Embassy, it gets to be a big task.  All roads and railroads are cut by VC.  I am at a high enough headquarters to see the big picture this time.
Biggest problem I see is that we’re trying to fight a war from an easy chair---hotel rooms for advisors and staff, plush BOQs, etc.  This war can’t we won from the plushness of Saigon.
Must stop.  New flag.  173rd committed.  Need to get aircraft.

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